Meet the Vendor: 20 Leagues
Who are you and what do you do?
20 Leagues is the weird, nerdy love child of an artist and a scientist. We’re best known for our odd array of stocking stuffers, an ever expanding collection of curiosity shop inspired dioramas, and a pathological obsession with details small and smaller. Like designers before us, we repurpose and rediscover those ubiquitous things that everybody takes for granted. That’s a long list in the modern world, but for us, it’s packaging, mass production, tall tales, disposability, and industrial materials. We’re happiest when we connect with somebody over a dumb joke or a clever design and will not stop until everybody, everywhere has a twee-dorable diorama of their own.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
Silly question, more dioramas! We’ve continued to refine our diorama skills, tools, and materials catalog and are very excited about how our latest, wooden creations have turned out. Our first wood diorama, commemorating the infamous Squidbeast attack on downtown Seattle, debuted at UCU’s spring show and we are delighted to be returning with several more in tow.
Any new exciting news you’d like to share with our readers?
The best part of running a craft business are the unexpected opportunities that seem to come from nowhere. This year, we contributed to a national advertising campaign for a Fortune 500 company— They needed a diorama and we need to be constantly making dioramas, so it was a perfect match. We aren’t legally allowed to say who the advertisement was for, but you’d be totally impressed. Totally.
What is your favorite new product for 2015?
Windup dioramas! We’ve started incorporating simple windup mechanisms into our wooden dioramas and will be unveiling three new models at UCU. Wind them up (clockwise please) and watch them go! We’ll have a haunted cat portrait, an homage to northwest logging, and a fortune teller’s booth. If you’re anything like us, you should seek medical help, but bring a windup diorama with you to pass the time while you’re waiting.
How did you get started in your business?
The business officially began with making a single Taxidermy Magnet as a holiday gift for a friend. He liked it, we liked it, and, besides, how hard could it be to run a craft business? Very hard. Nevertheless, with a super-serious handshake and a New Year’s resolution to be ‘Less boring’ we began to craft our diorama empire. Thousands of Taxidermy Magnets later, we still feel like we’re just starting.
And check out the Urban Craft Uprising Instagram for a chance to win a wind up diorama from 20 Leagues!